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“Good luck to him,” Mr. Santopietro said. “It’s a free society. He’s welcome to do that.”

Francis Donnarumma, Waterbury’s attorney at the time who was convicted of a tax charge and cooperated with government investigators, recalled Mr. Clark visited his home the day before his sentencing in a show of support.

“I found that to be out of the ordinary and really extraordinary in fact,” he said.

He said he was “thrilled” to learn Mr. Clark was running for Congress.